Oman Aviation seeks adviser for multi-billion financing

Oman Aviation Group includes Oman Air, Oman Airports and Oman Aviation Services. (Shutterstock)
Updated 04 February 2019
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Oman Aviation seeks adviser for multi-billion financing

  • The government aviation entity has sent a request for proposals to banks seeking an adviser on a financing program of about $4.94 billion spread across the next few years
  • Oman Aviation Group includes Oman Air, Oman Airports and Oman Aviation Services

DUBAI: Oman Aviation Group, a government entity in charge of investments in the country’s civil aviation sector, is seeking an adviser for debt financing of around $5 billion, two sources familiar with the matter said.
The planned financing, spread across the next few years, would come as Oman – which is less wealthy than its oil-rich Gulf neighbors – increasingly relies on borrowing to offset a widening budget deficit caused by a slump in oil prices.
The government aviation entity, which includes the country’s national carrier Oman Air, has sent a request for proposals to banks seeking an adviser on a financing program of about 1.9 billion Omani rials ($4.94 billion) spread across the next few years, said the sources.
Oman Aviation Group did not respond to a request for comment.
Responses to the request are due by mid-February, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter is private.
Formed in February last year, Oman Aviation Group includes Oman Air, Oman Airports and Oman Aviation Services.
A large part of the targeted financing will be used to buy aircraft for Oman Air, one of the sources said.
The state-owned airline wants to carry more passengers to and from Oman, its chief executive told Reuters last year, as it does not compete with the Gulf’s biggest airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways, which focus on connecting passengers through their Gulf hubs.
Other Omani government entities such as Oman Oil and Electricity Holding Co, also known as Nama, have become regular borrowers in the bank markets over the past few years.
The government of Oman expects to raise a total of around $6.2 billion in domestic and foreign debt this year, according to its 2019 state budget.


Turkey set to begin oil and gas drilling off Cyprus

Updated 21 February 2019
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Turkey set to begin oil and gas drilling off Cyprus

  • “In the coming days we will start drilling with two ships around Cyprus,” Turkish foreign minister said
  • Turkey and the Cypriot government have overlapping claims of jurisdiction in the eastern Mediterranean

ISTANBUL: Turkey will begin drilling for oil and gas near Cyprus in coming days, state-owned news agency Anadolu reported Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu saying on Thursday, a move that could stoke tensions with neighboring Cyprus and Greece.
Turkey and the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government have overlapping claims of jurisdiction for offshore oil and gas research in the eastern Mediterranean, a region thought to be rich in natural gas.
“In the coming days we will start drilling with two ships around Cyprus,” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying in a speech to a business conference in western Turkey’s Aydin province.
“Let those who come to the region from far away, and their companies, see that nothing can be done in that region without us. Nothing at all can be done in the Mediterranean without Turkey, we will not allow that,” Cavusoglu said.
Turkey launched its first drillship “Fatih” in October to drill off the coast of Turkey’s southern Antalya province. It said a second ship that it purchased would operate in the Black Sea, but was diverted to the Cyprus area.
Breakaway north Cyprus, which is supported by Turkey, says any offshore wealth also belongs to them, as partners in the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960.
The island was divided in 1974 after a Turkish invasion triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. Countless peacemaking endeavours have failed, and offshore wealth has increasingly complicated peace negotiations, with Greek Cypriots saying the matter is not up for discussion.